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Light Novel / Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki

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In the popular game Attack Families (a.k.a. Atafami/TackFam), Fumiya Tomozaki is the best gamer in Japan. However, in real life, he's a loser with no friends and a poor opinion of the "game" of real life. But one day, he plays a match against a player who's almost as good as him, and when they meet up in real life, he is shocked to discover that he had been playing against Aoi Hinami, the most popular girl in school. Aoi isn't impressed with Tomozaki's lifestyle and offers to teach him tricks to succeed in the game of real life.

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Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (Jaku Chara Tomozaki-kun) is a light novel series written by Yuki Yaku and illustrated by Fly. It received an anime adaptation by Project No.9 in January 2021.


This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Aoi, Mimimi, and Mizusawa are good looking, popular and get good grades.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Minami Nanami Wants to Shine spinoff manga diverges from the main storyline when Mimimi opts not to run for the student council presidential election (which originally took place in Volume 2) and instead takes up her mother Keiko's offer to become an amateur model for the "Prologue" makeup brand. And additionally, because Mimimi doesn't run for the election, Tomozaki ends up becoming Hinami's campaign manager instead of being Mimimi's as he was in the original storyline.
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  • Always Second Best: Minimi always comes behind Aoi in both grades and sports. Turns out this really bugs her, to the point that she quits the track club since she can't put up with the stress of trying to surpass her and the envy she feels as a result. She's thankfully talked into re-joining by Tomozaki and Tama.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Mimimi. She often displays herself as an unashamed pervert towards other girls, having No Sense of Personal Space and is at one time Implied to have stolen Hanabi's bra right off her while visiting the Volleyball Team for her election campaign. However, there are also times where she'll jokingly flirt with Tomozaki including not so jokingly in Volume 6.
  • Berserk Button: Insulting Attack Families appears to be this for Tomozaki.
  • Bland-Name Product: Attack Families is clearly based off of Super Smash Bros.. Averted in other instances, as Starbucks is freely named, as are social networking systems such as Twitter, Instagram, and LINE.
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  • Broken Pedestal: When Aoi, as NO NAME, kept losing to nanashi, she grows to admire him because, since she put a lot of effort into both her real life and Tackfam, she's quick to assume that the reason for this is that nanashi was even more of a hard worker than she was. In reality, the reason Tomozaki, as nanashi, is so good is that he basically gave up on real life to focus on the game, meaning she ends up sorely disappointed when they meet in real life.
  • Covers Always Lie: Volume 7 has Gumi-chan on the front cover of the book. Given that all other volumes have strong focus on each one's cover girl, it would be reasonable to think that Gumi-chan would have some important role in the volume. But her presence in the entire novel comes out to only a few paragraphs and she does nothing of importance. At least the Japanese special edition of that volume has Kikuchi on the cover, who is crucial to its narrative.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Tomozaki frequently has to remind himself not to stare at Izumi's breasts.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Nene Hieda, Izumi's seiyuu, is one of the members of DIALOGUE+, the idol group that performs the anime's opening and ending theme. Similarly, each female seiyuu all perform one variation of the ending theme as episodes go by.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone in Hinami and Nakamura's friend groups can clearly see that Nakamura and Izumi are into each other. OK, everyone except for Takei. Similarly in Volume 5, Mizusawa, Mimimi, and even Tama-chan can all see that Tomozaki is crushing on Kikuchi. In Volume 6, Mizusawa also easily figures out Mimimi is crushing on Tomozaki.
  • Gag Penis: Tomozaki possesses one. Meanwhile Nakamura is the opposite.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Lampshaded by Tomozaki in Volume 1, when Mimimi plays up her touchy-feely antics with Hinami in the classroom in front of everyone, and when they finally stop to take their seats, he thinks to himself the hot girl-on-girl action is over.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: An invoked case in regards to Kikuchi, who is specifically stated to have black hair when she is first introduced but is portrayed as having silver hair everywhere else. As the author explains in a tweet, this was done deliberately to show the audience how she appears from Tomozaki's perspective.
  • Hollywood Homely: Invoked. After she invites Tomozaki to her home and takes off her make-up, Aoi becomes completely unrecognizable to him, which she uses to demonstrate how a bit of effort can change one's looks. However, his reaction is confusing in the anime, where Aoi's face looks exactly the same with or without make-up.
  • Irony: Tomozaki comes to a truly ironic realization in Volume 6's ending that Mizusawa may act like a playboy but he's honest about his intentions towards girls and everything he is doing is focused on winning Hinami's affections, while Tomozaki himself is the one who pretends to be sincere but is actually leading both Kikuchi and Mimimi on, inadvertently playing with their hearts because he won't choose a girl to commit to, and hiding behind his lack of self-esteem as an excuse to procrastinate.
  • Lack of Empathy: Her obsession with living a perfect life and being number one has clearly affected Aoi's sense of this; when coaching Tomozaki, she describes him making friends and getting Kikuchi as a girlfriend as "goals" and "objectives", never considering his own feelings on the matter and coming off as dissociative of the people she's involving in his various tasks. This comes to a head in Episode 11 when he tells her that he didn't confess to Kikuchi like she told him to because, while he does like her, he's not a hundred percent sure if it's genuine, and wants to genuinely bond with her and the others instead of doing it as part of some daily tasks. Aoi, instead of seeing his point, seems to take this as a sign that he's planning on throwing away all of the progress he's made in spite of his words to the contrary.
  • King Incognito: In Volume 8, once Tomozaki starts attending offline Atafami meetups with Hinami, the latter only introduces herself with her first name as "Aoi-san," and plays against challengers pretending to be an unknown but very skilled amateur player. Nobody ever realizes she's NO NAME, the 2nd-best player on the Japanese leaderboards, also in part because she never uses her usual character Found, which would instantly unmask her as NO NAME due to her unique playstyle.
  • Male Gaze: The anime is full of camera shots focusing on Aoi's legs and rear, and Tomozaki's little sister is introduced legs-first in almost ever scene she's in. In the light novels, Tomozaki's inner dialogue frequently comments on how smoking hot the girls he interacts with are, often commenting on their figures and fashion choices. The sole exception is whenever he's with Kikuchi, where he instead often uses High Fantasy-related metaphors to describe her ethereal beauty and otherworldly peacefulness.
    • The author of the story, Yuuki Yaku, often uses each novel's afterword to gush over how sexy the girl on the front cover is and heap praise on Fly, the series artist and character designer.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: One of the stories in Volume 6.5 features Izumi panicking that Nakamura is cheating on her since she spotted him shopping with another girl. It eventually turns out that he was trying to figure out what to buy for her birthday, and the girl in question was Gumi-chan, who he asked along due to wanting a female's opinion on gifts, and he only knows her due to being one of Mizusawa's coworkers at the karaoke bar.
    • Much more dramatically in Volume 8, Kikuchi runs off in tears in the ending when she notices Tomozaki's phone buzz thanks to receiving a sexually charged text from Atafami player Rena. This was after she was already under the impression that he valued his Atafami career and acquaintances much more than their relationship.
  • No Name Given: Tomozaki's little sister's first name hasn't been mentioned in the series so far. Same thing with Takei, whose first name is never mentioned.
  • No Social Skills: Tomozaki starts off as this but gradually gains them through Aoi's teachings and experience.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tomozaki gives a big one to Erika Konno at the end of Volume 1 when she mocks Nakamura for taking Atafami seriously.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In Volume 4, Nakamura and Izumi finally become official after both their teams win the sports festival and he asks her out.
    • Volume 7 ends with Tomozaki confronting Kikuchi about their latent feelings for each other, and they officially start dating by the volume's end.
  • Shipper on Deck: A big chunk of Volumes 3 and 4 revolves around most of the characters conspiring to get Nakamura and Izumi to hook up since it's obvious they both secretly like each other.
  • Shout-Out: The fantasy writer Kikuchi is a huge fan of, Michael Andi, is a clear Homage to German fantasy writer Michael Ende.
  • Sore Loser:
    • Nakamura proves to be this when he loses to Tomozaki in Tackfam, blaming his loss on luck and calling the game unbalanced instead of acknowledging Tomozaki's skill.
    • Aoi accuses Tomozaki on being this in regards to "the game of real life" in an Ironic Echo of what he told Nakamura when he lost to him, saying he's "blaming the game" for his inability to try.
  • Stealth Pun: As per Word of God, the name of the ninja, Found, is a play on "find and seek," with "seek," if pronounced with a Japanese accent, sounding like Sheik.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Lampshaded in Volume 6 when Tomozaki finds himself being the common connection between Takei, Tama-chan, and Izumi as the four of them walk home from school. Because the three of them all normally hang out in different cliques, this turns out to be the first time they actually have real conversations with each other.
  • Wham Line: The end of Volume 6 forces Tomozaki to face an uncomfortable fact:
    Mizusawa: "When you put yourself down - you seem almost relieved. You didn't realize that, did you?"
    • Volume 8's ending easily manages to top the above when Kikuchi reads the worst possible text on Tomozaki's phone.
    Rena: ["I'm sorry for bringing up sex out of the blue the other day."]
  • When She Smiles: Part of Aoi's advice for Tomozaki is that just smiling can have a massive affect on one's physical appeal, and so has him practice smiling.
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